- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2017

Halle Berry, who broke history for winning the Academy Award for best actress in 2002, said her win means nothing now that she remains the only woman of color to ever take home the prize.

Ms. Berry told Teen Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth at Cannes Lions that she first came to the stunning realization last year after the Academy Awards announced a list of all-white acting nominees for the second year in a row.

“It was probably one my lowest professional moments,” she said.

“I sat there and I really thought, ‘Wow, that moment really meant nothing,” Ms. Berry said of her historic 2002 win. “That meant nothing. I thought it meant something, but I think that meant nothing.’ And I was profoundly hurt by that and saddened by that.

“It’s troubling, to say the least,” Ms. Berry said.

She said it inspired her to get involved in other ways.

“I want to start directing. I want to start producing more,” she said. “I want to start being a part of making more opportunities for people of color. I have conversations more deeply with the Academy members, and I’m trying to figure out how to help and add more diversity into the Academy. … These kinds of groups have to start changing and we have to start becoming more conscious and more inclusive.

“We need more people of color writing, directing, producing, not just starring. We have to start telling stories that include us,” she added.

Ms. Berry famously took to the stage in 2002 for her role as Leticia Musgrove in “Monster’s Ball,” saying during her acceptance speech: “This is for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

She told Vogue that the emotional speech was totally improvised because she was certain Sissy Spacek was going to take home the prize.

“That just was what was ruminating in my spirit during that whole process and it just came out,” she said.

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